Close to the end of my european excursion, I visited the abbey of Monte Cassino. Located just 80 miles south of Rome, the abbey is perched on a mountain overlooking the town of Cassino. Throughout history the abbey was sacked or destroyed several times. The most recent destruction took place during WWII, when the allies bombed the abbey to the ground because of its potential strategic importance. It was finally rebuilt in the 1960s, and surprisingly it maintained old style. In fact, the abbey church was rebuilt to the most exact specifications possible as the original church. You walk into the church and are immediately greeted by the Baroque styling. The beauty of the church is enhanced by the choir of monks that you might catch singing vespers in the late afternoon. The only thing which I noticed which could tip off a visitor to the modern construction is the huge mural on the back wall which depicts popes throughout the ages surrounding God the Father. In the lower part of the mural is Pope Paul VI. Unfortunately many of the paintings on the ceiling were lost with the destruction of the church in 1944, but the reproduction of the remainder is truly a worthwhile sight for anyone who is willing to take the short trip to Cassino. The pictures that I have included are the high altar in the church (1) and the ceiling near the tomb of Saint Benedict (2).
The answer to last week’s post is the Tempietto. I have already given the answer to this week’s post since it is my final one.